The German Battery Act (BattG) is the transposition of the EU Battery Directive 2006/66/EC into national law which was adopted in November 2015. This directive aims to minimize the negative environmental impact and health hazards due to batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators. This directive establishes rules regarding hazardous substance limits, labeling, take-back, and disposal of batteries and accumulators in EU Member states.

The most commonly used heavy metals which are used in batteries are Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury, which are regulated under this directive as with the limits mentioned below:

Substance Weight limit (w/w)%
Lead (Pb) 0.004%
Cadmium (Cd) 0.002%
Mercury (Hg) 0.0005%

Batteries and accumulators should be marked with a symbol of crossed-out wheel waste bin to indicating recycling of the product to reduce the environmental impact caused by the used batteries and accumulators.

A manufacturer as per BattG is the one who places the batteries or accumulators for the first time on the market for distribution, consumption, and use.

BattG implies the following to the manufacturers:

  1. Register batteries and accumulators before placing them on the market
  2. Hazardous content should be marked on the product
  3. Should offer take-back system for the products they placed on the market
  4. Ensure that the products are disposed of in an environmentally sound manner

There was a new amendment to the German Battery which came into force on 1st January 2021. Below listed are the new amendments:

  1. The collection rate of portable batteries from 45% to 50%.
  2. The registration process will be managed by “Foundation EAR” (Stiftung Altgeräte-Register) and manufacturer has to register themselves before placing their products on the market.
  3. Manufactures shall join a take-back system operated by other manufacturers and they can operate on their own or by third-part on their behalf which abolishes the previous common collection system.
  4. Non-EU manufacturers can appoint an authorized representative who is already established in the German market and they can register themselves as foreign manufacturers to sell their product.

Reference: BattG-2020-Notes-ZVEI-EN.pdf